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Consumers ready for spring

March 14, 2011
Jenn Brookens — Staff Writer

FAIRMONT - While most everyone is tired of the overcast skies, cold and wind, it turned out to be the perfect weather to drive people to the Spring Expo at the Five Lakes Centre.

"It was cold enough that people didn't want to be outside doing anything, but they still wanted to come out," said Dani Kainz of KSUM-KFMC, which puts on the annual event.

Traffic at the event was up all three days from Friday afternoon through Sunday, and there were no empty booths to be found.

Article Photos

Adam Petrowiak, 7, of East Chain checks out an ATV on display at the Doug’s Sports Center room at the Five Lakes Centre during the Spring Expo on Sunday. When asked if that was his new toy, his father, Mike Petrowiak, answered: “He wishes.”

"We sold out, and while it looks like there are less booths, several of the businesses actually doubled up on booths to have more space," Kainz said.

Some new businesses were making an appearance at the Spring Expo, from places such as Mankato and Owatonna. There were also some new features. Smith's Greenhouse offered kids face painting at its booth, and Girl Scout cookie booths could also be found. On Friday, the Girl Scouts were actually selling cookies out of the back of one of the vehicles on display.

There were also more displays for vehicles and boats, with two boat dealerships from Algona and Okoboji making their debut at the Expo.

"The Fairmont Women of Today concession booth proceeds are going to the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign this year," Kainz said.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon also had its own booth, with "Support the Troops" t-shirts and sweatshirts available for sale.

"We've had a lot of people stop by," said Barb Schreier, who was working at the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon booth Sunday. "A lot of people are interested in the shirts, and we get a chance to talk to people about the program."

The best news of all for the Expo was that vendors were keeping busy and making connections with potential customers.

"I'd say this is one of the best Expos we've had," said Rich Johnson of Culligan Water of Fairmont. "It's been busy and we have a lot of leads."

"We've had one vendor sell out of all the golf carts he had on display," Kainz said. "It looks like a lot of the booths have been busy talking to customers, instead of people just walking by and that's awesome. I love seeing that."

"We are very grateful to our vendors, because without them, there is no Spring Expo," said Vicki Bicknase of KSUM-KFMC, who coordinates the Spring Expo. "We also have a lot of thanks to the Five Lakes Centre for letting us put this on."

The Spring Expo has been a staple at the Five Lakes Centre since 2003, and has grown consistently each year.

"Generally, everyone seems really pleased with how it's going," Kainz said.



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